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Plan B for the Internet


I’ve been a wild advocate for the Internet since the beginning, and I still believe in it as a massively liberating technology… but not in the current, popular form. The Internet that we know has been recaptured by the power mongers with a massive assist from hucksters. It is, to be very honest about it, all but finished. And considering the massive inertia and mindless obedience of the dominant 9/11 culture, it won’t be saved.

So, we need a Plan B. Many people don’t want to think about such a thing, and while I understand their hesitation, I can’t endorse anyone taking the ‘ostrich position.’

That being the case, I’ll start right out with the naked truth:

Big Brother is now called “Internet.”

Using the existing Internet, as most people do, involves Big Brother reading your mind and sticking his fingers into your brain. And that’s not something that is ‘coming soon’; it is something that is here NOW… and it’s getting worse all the time.

I’ll pass up the details in this article; I’ve covered them repetitively in the past. Whoever doesn’t want to believe me is entitled to his or her choice.

Plan A2

Plan A2 is the one I’ve been talking about for a decade or more: protecting your Internet traffic. I should warn you, however, that this gets harder every day. And that means that fast, easy, and cheap is not possible. To be clear: If you’re using cut-rate protection, you’re not protected.

Yes, I have a dog in this fight – I manage the Cryptohippie Service – but what I’m writing is true all the same. Cheap privacy services are not going to protect you these days. You need professional systems (with their own private key infrastructure, multiple hops, DNS, etc.).

You can still protect yourself (see this guide) but it’s real work… as in spending hours of focused effort, and consistently.

Beyond these things, you MUST stop using free services, especially Google and Facebook. They are the tele-screens from 1984 and are in some ways worse. Like it or not, that’s the truth.

The problem with Plan A2 is that you have to pay for it. It does still work (which is why Big Brother’s operators would like to outlaw anonymity services), but it isn’t free.

Plan A2 flies in the face of the triumphant Internet hucksters who have conned nearly the entire planet into believing that there really is such a thing as a free lunch. And reason be damned, the planet has fallen for it.

Ah well.

Plan B

Plan B is far simpler and easier than you’d guess: It’s to build our own networks. Here are the two major pieces:

Mesh networks. Meshes are local networks built with standard Wi-Fi components. They are cheap and fairly easy to build, especially after the first one or two. And they can cover large areas. In fact, a rural mesh network in Spain connects some 30,000 users. Here’s a list of mesh networks around the world.

Connections. Connecting networks can be accomplished by any number of means: fibers, radio links, phone lines, and so on. The one method that I particularly like is packet radio.

All sorts of things can be added to this base. Here are two that I like:

Ferry nodes. These are individual nodes (computers) that connect to both a mesh and the big Internet, ferrying data between the two: emails, page updates, etc.

FidoNet. FidoNet is a system for sending and receiving messages. But unlike the standard Internet, it doesn’t require real-time transmission. In other words, it is perfect for a mesh network that synchs with remote email servers only four times per day, for example. (This breaks the Big Brother Internet’s ability to correlate traffic… to read your mind so easily.)

You could easily go far beyond my short list, but this is a strong start. The External Links section of the Wikipedia mesh page would be a great place to start looking for further information and ideas.

The leading edge and the oppressed are already getting busy with mesh networks. This is where intelligent and ethical energies need to be spent, because the existing Internet is all but gone for anyone who wants some distance from Big Brother.

If you’re looking to start doing something that matters, I can barely think of a better area in which to start. If you have any technical skill at all, you’ll find it accessible. Building mesh networks requires fairly little cash and it is of major importance.

So, I recommend that you jump in and start building and start communicating with other people who are doing the same thing.

Then, once you understand what you’re doing, start innovating.

This is a line of work that’s worthy of your time and energy.

Paul Rosenberg

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Tech February 2, 2016, 10:02 pm

    I’d like to suggest Plan B1 – incentivize the WISP (WIreless ISP) small businesses scattered all over the planet to cross-connect with each other, forming a professionally operated, parallel telecom grid that’s much more reliable than ad-hoc Mesh systems.
    There are far more of these operations than community meshes – see the following URL for a partial coverage map of the US
    Current microwave point-to-point link record is 225km, using 3ft dish antennas ans Airfiber-5x radios, for a 100Mb bidirectional link. Shorter crossconnects at 10-15km can use Aiirfiber-24 units for up to 2Gb.
    Incentivizaiton can be accomplished with crypto-currency transactions, facilitated by ‘smart contract’ interconnect agreements between tower operators.

    • Paul Rosenberg February 3, 2016, 1:01 am

      Good idea, Tech. I have nothing but good experiences with WISPA and FISPA (fispa.org). They are the people who already know how to do this. Their problem is regulatory enforcement. If they step outside the lines, the Feds can ruin their businesses.

      • Tech February 3, 2016, 1:19 am

        Don’t I know it…
        The upcoming generations of radio equipment are intended to ‘phone in’ to frequency coordination databases, register their GPS coordinates and really lock things down. Independent open-source radio gear will be very important.

        • Paul Rosenberg February 3, 2016, 1:41 am

          Thanks, Tech.
          “The upcoming generations of radio equipment are intended to ‘phone in’ to frequency coordination databases, register their GPS coordinates”
          Just plain evil.
          “Independent open-source radio gear will be very important.”
          Very, very definitely.

    • Auld Spyce February 15, 2016, 1:21 am

      The MafiAA (RIAA, MPAA) would tie it up in lawsuits until the end of time for encouraging copyright infringement.

  • ReallyOldOne February 3, 2016, 12:42 am

    Could I suggest plan C, hiding in plain sight?

    • Paul Rosenberg February 3, 2016, 1:03 am

      Not if plain sight includes the Internet. “Plain sight” on the Internet means “we own you 100%.”

      • ReallyOldOne February 3, 2016, 1:40 am

        Sorry you feel that way.
        By the way, I really liked your article on helping one person at a time in person. That is more what I do.

        • Paul Rosenberg February 3, 2016, 1:44 am

          Hi ROO,
          “Sorry you feel that way.”
          Sadly, it’s not feeling, it’s observation. 🙁
          “By the way, I really liked your article on helping one person at a time in person.”
          “That is more what I do.”
          Double thanks!!

  • Greg February 3, 2016, 9:52 pm

    Wouldn’t “they” just take over whatever new thing we build? Why not take back the original, very cool thing?
    Oh, and of course we had FidoNet before and most people didn’t care. They wanted to trade all of their security and privacy for free infotainment. When it was offered, they jumped. Until that mindset is fixed (which is what Paul’s working towards), there’s not much hope.
    I try to do the same, in person, whenever I can, but it’s like playing handball against drapes.

    • Auld Spyce February 15, 2016, 1:19 am

      “They wanted to trade all of their security and privacy for free infotainment. When it was offered, they jumped.”
      So? What’s that got to do with you or me? We’re not all one uniform mass. We’re endlessly numerous communities, and you don’t need to be on Facebook or Twitter to remain alive.

  • UnterMensch February 5, 2016, 2:25 pm

    I grew up in communistic country, can anyone of you explain me why do you want to fight Big Brother?

    • Paul Rosenberg February 6, 2016, 3:15 pm

      First, I’m not trying to “fight” BB, I just want to be left alone by him, or to avoid him… an impulse I think all sufficiently conscious creatures share.
      That caveat aside, I’ll answer your question:
      Because I want to live and develop in MY way, not as a tool of some thug’s will.

      • UnterMensch February 6, 2016, 6:36 pm

        Thank you very much for your reply. Staying out of radar will be very costly, not to mention constant fear, danger and suspicion. I doubt if anyone can live it’s live in such conditions. I know stories of nieghbours spying neighbours, friends spying friends, children spying parents, wifes spying husbands. The good thing is that permanent invigilation won’t last long because it is ineffective. In my opinion the best solution how to stay out of BB and problems is what Doug Casey proposes – internationalization.
        BTW. Someone who wants to be let alone or avoid BB will be treated as an enemy of the state – you are not with us you are against us.

        • Don Duncan February 7, 2016, 11:29 pm

          You might be targeted directly anytime, anywhere, by the state regardless of how obedient to it you are. But you are being hurt by the state indirectly unless you are the state, i.e., TPTB. Before you decide to be an enemy of the state, it is necessary to admit to yourself that the state is an enemy to you.

  • Don Duncan February 7, 2016, 11:23 pm

    Is it possible with Plan B to have an anonymous banking system, something untouchable, immune from the international banking cartel? This could be the wellspring of a free economy, a cyber community, e.g., silk road, but much more extensive, using its own money.

  • Nathaniel Hourt March 20, 2016, 4:08 am

    You really ought to get cryptohippie away from GoDaddy. I’m sorry, but one simply cannot simultaneously use GoDaddy for anything, and have a shred a credibility as a tech services provider.

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